Puigverd Assessors Business Consulting Castellar del Vallès Barcelona

Regulations on contributions for trainee workers in the next year 2024

Puigverd Assessors analyzes the details of this regulation


The employment landscape is constantly evolving, and in the coming year 2024, there will be a series of significant changes looming in relation to contributions for intern workers in Spain.

These changes are framed in Royal Decree-Law 2/2023, of March 16, and one of the notable measures is the obligation for students on internships, whether paid or unpaid, to begin contributing to Social Security at starting January 1, 2024, after this date was delayed from the initially planned October 1, 2023.

What does this measure mean?

That all trainee trainees will contribute to Social Security as of January 1, 2024. All companies must register trainees with Social Security, regardless of whether they carry out paid internships or not.

Previously, it is advisable to differentiate between an internship contract and an internship agreement (students).

The internship contract , since the Labor Reform called a training contract to obtain professional practice, is a modality regulated in article 11.3 of the Workers' Statute in which an employment relationship exists . It is a necessary requirement to carry out this contract that the worker has already completed official studies.

The salary will be that established in the collective agreement , and in no case may it be less than the minimum remuneration established for this modality or the SMI in proportion to the actual working time.

The internship agreement (the one used for interns) is an agreement that is formalized with a training or educational entity and does not imply an employment relationship with the company . These internships can be carried out in companies as part of the study plan.

In this case, the students would not have completed their studies and it is usually required that they be enrolled during that period in the training entity. For this type of situations, an employment contract is not formalized, an agreement will be formalized between the student, educational entity and company.

What practices will be required to contribute to Social Security in 2024?

Currently, only students with paid internships contributed to Social Security, thus adding years of contributions to access retirement.

But, as indicated above, as of January 1, 2024 , students who carry out external training or academic practices included in training programs (scholarships) are included in the Social Security System and, consequently , the companies that host scholarship recipients, including internships carried out by university and Vocational Training students, will have the obligation to register them with Social Security, regardless of whether they receive remuneration or not .

How are they integrated into the Social Security system?

Integrating trainees into the Social Security system is an important process to ensure they can access benefits and appropriate social protection. Below, the Puigverd Assessors team describes the key aspects of how they are integrated into the system:

Registration in Social Security

  • Registration in the system: When a student begins their internship, the company or employing entity must register the worker in the Social Security system. This involves recording your personal data, as well as the details of the internship contract.

Social Security contributions

  • Mandatory contribution: As of January 1, 2024, both the employer and the intern must make the corresponding Social Security contributions. 
  • Benefits of contributions: By contributing, interns are entitled to Social Security benefits, which include medical care, coverage in case of workplace accidents, and the right to accumulate contribution periods for their future retirement.

Advantages of contributions for trainee workers

  • Greater social protection: One of the main benefits of this measure is that intern workers, who previously did not contribute, will now have the social security provided by Social Security. This means they will be covered in the event of illness or accident, alleviating a major concern for fellows.
  • Accumulation of retirement rights: By contributing to Social Security, trainee workers will begin to accumulate retirement rights. This is essential to ensure a more stable economic future once they stop working.
The contributions for trainee workers that will come into force on January 1, 2024 under Royal Decree-Law 2/2023 represent a significant change in the Spanish employment landscape.

While this measure offers important benefits, such as greater social protection and the accumulation of retirement rights, it also poses challenges for companies and could affect the availability of unpaid internship opportunities.

As a result, it is essential that both students and businesses adapt to these changes and seek equitable solutions that benefit both parties in the evolving world of work.